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Questions to ask in an interview

When people prepare for an interview the one section, they might get stuck on is questions. It can be overlooked because what some people don’t understand is that an interview is a 2-sided event. You should be using the interview to determine if they are a fit for you and your career path. Preparing the right questions to ask in an interview can get you the answers you’re looking for. You don’t need too many questions but preparing a few will help you out beyond what questions that come up during the interview. For that reason, I wanted to provide examples of 6 questions to ask in an interview.

Why it’s important

Being prepared with questions to ask in an interview will help you get the most out of it. By asking the right question you can learn more about the company and how they operate. You can never get the full gist of what they are about, but it should help you in making the right decision.

The other aspect of having questions ready for your interview is you demonstrate your interest. Organizations look for passion from a candidate and want people who want to be there. By preparing in depth questions that explore their organization you show your passion for the position and organization. This is especially true if they aren’t generic and show the research you have done on them.

Questions to ask in an interview

When choosing which questions to ask in an interview it’s important to be original. It also needs to show you understand the organization that you are meeting with. That’s why instead of offering up specific questions you can ask, I want to provide a framework around topics with which to work with. This requires some work but will truly make you stand out.

 Industry landscape

Technology is a main component of almost all businesses in the current day and becoming more and more important to their success. This is why organizations look for technical people who have an interest in the industry they are working in. Professionals who understand the business can contribute with ideas and advice in order to improve the products they build. By asking about how they plan to overcome certain competitors or industry challenges it will show you know more than just technology. Some examples are understanding how a digital transformation will help them grow their market share? Or understanding how they might use technology to automate key aspects of their business?

Growth opportunity

44% of IT professionals view growth opportunity as the most important factor for them. Now just asking if they have opportunity for growth is a pretty generic question to ask in an interview. Instead you can focus on what qualities allow people to advance within the organization. Ask what qualities they value in the people they promote. Or understand what structure they have for reviews and promotion opportunity. Taking the time to understand what it would take to grow can help you know if this organization is the right fit for you. You can also inquire about how the person interviewing got into their position. Did they start there or did they get promoted into it? If so how long did it take them to make the transition?

Company Culture

Your fit within a team and organization is very much based on how you will fit into their culture. Most organizations will have a broad overview or some key words to describe it. While that information is good to know it doesn’t always reflect what it’s like working there. Another approach might be taking a deeper dive on those values to see how they’re applied. For example, asking them to explain how they encourage innovation within the organization? To understand how they apply and support their values will allow you to know if they truly live them. If they can’t explain how they ensure their values they might not be living them and it could be a bad sign.

Product development

This one will require a little research in examining some products they have available to the public. If you will be working on it, you can begin to understand how they plan to evolve or grow it. You can also learn how those changes will impact the business. One question to ask in an interview is where do they see the product in 2 years’ time? By taking the time to learn more about the product and its impact on the business it will show your interest. It can also help you see how much opportunity there might be for you within this team and organization. For some doing small feature adds might be fine but for others who want more complex challenges it might not.

Learning opportunity

With technology constantly changing and growing it’s important you stay on top of it. In order to do so it’s often easier if you have the support of your organization to make it happen. While preparing your questions to ask in an interview you might want to learn about how they support employees. Do they have internal resources for growing your knowledge? Do they pay for courses or conferences which you can attend to learn more? If you value new technology, then having an organization that supports learning is key. You can also use this information if you have gaps in technical knowledge. You can research classes in technologies that you are missing to show you are willing to learn in order to meet the requirements of the role. Organizations often don’t mind if you don’t have their full wish list. Showing them, you are aware of the gap and are willing to close it will reassure them you are the right fit.

Challenges in the role

Every organization has different challenges especially as your ramp up in a new role. An interview is a great time to understand what those challenges might be in the role. Some questions to ask in an interview would be around what people struggle with most in adapting to this organization? Or how challenges impact employee’s ability to be successful? Organizations are often nervous about how someone will adapt. By understanding why people fail you can help build the case for why you won’t. On the reverse you can learn a lot about the role from the reasons why people fail.

Going into any interview it’s important to put your best foot forward. By preparing questions to ask in an interview you demonstrate a few key aspects of who you are. Your passion around the organization and industry which is important to everyone. It also can help you highlight your strengths and how you can overcome the gaps you may have. These questions will also go a long way to helping you make your decision. You are interviewing them and by having questions prepared you can better understand if they are a fit for you.

How avansai can help?

We can help you prepare questions to ask in an interview through our Career advice page. You can also reach out to Corey or me for further insights. If your part of the 34% that never gets prepared by their recruitment partner you can always reach out to us